Thursday, December 25, 2008

My iphone says Merry Christmas

Hope you've had a good one!

Take care - me

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Surprise cookies...

Now, you may be thinking that the title should have a comma in between the surprise and cookies. Yes, I know that it's been over a month since my last post. Right now, as in right this moment, I'm doing pretty good. During this first Christmas without Mother, that tends to change moment by moment.

Here's the recipe and photos of a cookie Mother used to make for Christmas. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Take care - Me

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Today I'm ripping out carpet. Today, I'm trying not to think about how much I miss my mother. Today, I'm trying to think of something else other than this will be the first time in 37 years that I've not seen or spoken to the woman that gave me life. I'm trying to not be angry that last year I knew it was the last birthday I would spend with her and I had to share her with someone I don't care for much. Or how she was so tired from entertaining that person and working at the store that she couldn't visit with me later in the day. Today, I'm trying not to think about then or now. And today, I'm trying not to notice the rivers of tears falling on old carpet.

Take care - Me

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Let's hit it with a stick...


Today the kids went walking with Granny. Apparently they walked up on a Timber rattler. Now, I know that we live in Mississippi and I've grown up understanding that they are around, but when it's my children that walk up on one, it's a whole different story. Especially when my MIL aka Granny tells the kids "Let's hit it with a stick." Luckily, or divinely as I think, they have sense enough to step back from it and run away. They ran to get Grandaddy and his gun while Granny stayed and poked it enough to coil. WTF?!? She wanted my children to attempt that with her? (btw - it had 10 rattles.)

Thank you Lord that I have gone over with them what to do if they ever run across a poisonous snake. Thank you Lord that they actually listened to me and could recall it when it did happen.

I know that there are those of you out there that don't want the wildlife killed. For the most part, I'm fine with that. For poisonous snakes that we know are there and are on our land where my children roam, they will be killed if at all possible. End of story.

By the way, yesterday was the kids TAG class field-trip. We toured the state art museum and the museum of natural science. There were about 64 children and 15 adults. I am so glad that I've taken the kids to museums before and talked to them about art. So many of these gifted children had absolutely no respect for art. I could really get on my soapbox about that now, but I'm going to save it for another post. While at the MNS, they got to experience a wetland up close and personal and very muddy. I'll try to post pics on the other site within the next day or two. Overall, the kids enjoyed it. I'm still taking headache pills from being with that many disrespectful, hyperactive young people for 12 hours.

Take care - Me

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hands and jobs...

No, not hand jobs, hands AND jobs...

I went to the specialist today. He comes highly recommended and is actually covered by my insurance - double bonus! In his words, it's just bad luck that they all occurred at the same time. They are not connected. The one on the back of my hand is fairly common, even for my age. The one where the previous surgery occurred is less common, but not a bone spur. It's a calcified mass in my tendon. It's not very harmful at this point and the consensus is that it should be left alone for now. The spot on the back of my thumb is very unusual and is a bone spur, or osteophyte. Since I'm currently on 2400mg of ibuprofen/24 hours and still having some pain, it's felt that cortisone shots would not benefit me much. So, the current plan is for me to stick it out as long as I can and then we'll have to go in again and shave this spot off.

Since I was in a city that actually has a real yarn store, I went by there. It was open today and what beautiful yarns! Mother and I had stopped by there last year before it was open. Mother was able to sweet talk the owner into letting us drool over the stock she had gotten in even though we couldn't purchase anything. The owner remembered me and asked about Mother. I lost it. Knowing that Mother would love that store - the yarns, books, needles and atmosphere, I just missed her deep in my soul. I wanted her to be there to share that with. I wanted her input on the textures and colors of kettle dyed skeins and rolls of silken alpaca. I needed her there physically. The owner was great, she hugged me and walked around with my while handing me tissues. She had lost her mother and father within four months of each other. She knew. The other patrons helped too, patting me, mentioning this stitch or that, letting me know that I was not alone in that place. I bought a significant amount of yarn along with a new book. I was able to walk out without tearing, but once I got to the car, I lost it again. And lost it almost the entire way home. Then, I got it together again.

Amazingly, right after I got it together today I received an call from a screen printing business that is in need of a graphic artist. The pay isn't all that great, but it would be fun to be making some money doing something creative. Also, the owner seems to be a very level-headed, nice person and she comes highly recommended from the artist who has been working for her. I'm supposed to call her back tomorrow.

The kids are doing great - they love TAG and if it weren't for that day, I'd be having a lot of trouble keeping them interested in school. Rokimus had the last points race of the season this past Saturday. He got moved up to a more advanced class for that race as he had won every race this season in the other class. I was somewhat concerned as this puts him racing against kids that are around 3-4 years older. Silly me. He timed the fastest, started the heat race on pole and was able to hold off the very aggressive 2nd place feature driver. Even after that kid spun him out and ended up hurting not only his own kart, but another one as well. So, Rokimus was able to win every race this season and had only one race that he didn't start on the pole due to mechanical issues. In that one, he started the feature last, passed 6 carts and finished first. Proud mama? Yeah, I am. :)

Speedy is also doing good. He's planning on racing this Saturday, so he's been busy getting his car ready. Again, I'm very glad he races instead of hunting. At least the family can be involved in racing. I have no desire to shoot a bambi.

Take care - Me

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hey Sis...

Happy Birthday!! :) I love you.

Also, here's the logo I'm working on for next year's Relay. Let me know what you think. 

For everyone else - she has dial up & can look this one up quicker than trying to download an attachment. Sorry for the nonblog, I'll try to entertain you in the near future.


Take care - Me

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Help, please...

OK. So I maybe am not the best at asking for help. Especially from what may be complete strangers, but most likely are folks that have known me for 20 years. (Scary thought, huh?!)

** warning - long post! grab coffee, take a pee break and prepare to be bored! **

If you tuned in a few months ago, you read this, this, or this. I had an osteophyte (bone spur) at the MCP Joint on my left thumb. In other words, a somewhat large, hard bump on my lower thumb joint that was causing quite a bit of pain not only in my hand, but up my arm as well. The decision was made that they would go in and shave off the protrusion. They did. They also found a pocket of "cream cheese looking" stuff that was sitting on a nerve bundle/artery. They removed that successfully and the path showed nothing remarkable. I've healed quite nicely from that surgery.

Unfortunately, in under two months, not only has that one started returning, I now have two additional spurs. One is on the back side of that same thumb, and the other is on the middle lower on the same hand, just to the right of the forefinger metacarpal, above the carpal. (image for those who need it - like me.) So, I'm now sitting here with three bone spurs. The original one was thought to have been caused by possible trauma. I noticed it shortly after Mother's death and I really don't remember that time very well. I since seen an orthopedic surgeon because I have the desire to know why. The original surgeon (a plastic surgeon with hand cert) wanted to just go ahead back into it and remove all three. I wanted more information. I want to know that when we go back in there I won't be facing this surgery again in another 2-3 months.

The new guy (ortho) has tested me for gout, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. He ordered an MRI. At my last appointment, I ended up feeling very sorry for him as he stood there and told me several times that he does not know what's causing this. He has not ever seen this or heard of this occurring in this short amount of time. We do feel very confident that it's not cancer. That it's not life or limb threatening. That is very reassuring.

So, it's come down to whether or not I continue on to see an actual hand specialist. Do I go ahead and spend the time and money now, before the pain is worse and more consistent, or do I wait until the pain is at a level that is equivalent to when the first surgery was scheduled? What are the chances that they will just dissolve away? Grow? More show?

I don't want to leave you with the impression that there are gigantic growths on my hand. They aren't. They are not to the size in the picture on the previous blog post. Of course, they've not had the 4 months to grow to that size yet either. And maybe they won't. They are large enough that if I move my hand in certain ways, they are visible. The thumb ones don't really need much movement, if any, to be visible.

I'm sorry to keep going on and on about this, but I'd love some input from unbiased people. From people that perhaps haven't heard my story about it and are coming at this from a fresh start. Because honestly, sometimes I feel like I'm paranoid and just need to leave it alone. Other times, I feel like rushing to the nearest surgeon just to get these things off my body.

Thanks for your time.

Take care - Me

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Blog fodder...

Here are just some random photos that I've taken the past couple of months. Nothing too exciting, however, it is a new post in under three weeks. :)


Take care - Me

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nothing really...

I just decided to let ya'll know that I've updated a post on the photo blog. As it's been over two months, I figure folks probably quit looking at it. :) Anywho... we're still working on the house, Gustav was pretty much a nonevent for our area and we're finally getting the satellite hooked back up today. Now, I just need to move a couple side tables in to set the TVs & receivers on.

Take care - Me

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Palpable areas, dorsums, and ganglion cyst - oh my...

So, I met with the orthopedic dude today to go over the recent MRI. Basically I found out that it's not cancer and he has absolutely no freakin' clue as to what's causing these bone growths. They took some more blood to run tests for arthritis. He really doesn't feel it's that, but we might as well check for it. I'm on a predisone/ibuprofen regimen for the next bit, with a follow up appointment in one month. That is, as long as there aren't too many more new growths that show up before now and then. If, in a month, they are still there/bigger, then we'll move on to a hand specialist. I feel he's probably already looking up information about docs that might have some clue as to why a 37 year old would be suddenly sprouting new bone growth.

BTW - the ganlgion cyst that was found is not even in one of the areas bothering that hand. I had no clue anything was in that area.

Take care - Me

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Follow up...

This is Speedy's email sent yesterday after being informed of my email.

Mr Principal,

The incident last year occurred when I went to the school for one the year end functions. I believe it was awards day. I was walking past the cafeteria and one of the workers ran outside and called me inside to pay the past due bill. I was 99% sure that the account was not past due so I asked what the charges were for. She replied that they were for the previous Friday when my children were not even in school. I questioned this so she went to the back to check. When she returned she said that the charges must have been for a previous day but was unable to produce any sort of documentation supporting the alleged past due balance. To avoid any more confusion I just paid the charges as I believe they were less than $5.00

I do not dispute the fact that we owe money now. I sent a check to cover the first and second week of school but I let the third week slip up on me. The point is that the cafeteria staff are rude and should not be hounding children for money.

Please have someone send me a statement for Rokimus and Moosie and I will gladly pay the bill. I will try to make every effort to send a lunch with my children from now on so that they do not have to bother the cafeteria staff.


This is Mr. Principal's response to Speedy's email. I have not yet received a reply. We'll see what happens when I pick the kids up from school today.

Mr. Speedy,
I apologize for this occurrence. Believe it or not, I have no
jurisdiction over the cafeteria but I have forwarded this to the Central Office. Thank you for letting me know and I will do what I can to help with this situation. We at the Elementary office and staff absolutely adore your children. Again, I apologize for any inconvenience.


And, finally, Speedy's response to this one.

Mr. Principal,

Thanks for the reply. I knew you weren't over the cafeteria but I felt
the need to vent to someone.

The generalization that the cafeteria staff are rude is not fair. Both
of my children said that Ms Moneyhog was not rude when she kept Rokimus' money. Ms Moneyhog and Ms Server are always nice and I'm sure most of the other staff are as well. I'm sure that Ms Moneyhog was just following instructions but it doesn't seem fair that they kept his ice cream money to apply to his lunch balance. To my knowledge they don't let them charge ice cream or other treats to their lunch accounts. Last year we would sometimes send extra money for the special events so that they could share with other kids who's parents may not have had extra money
to send. If the extra .50 cents had been used to buy ice cream for a child that couldn't afford any that would be different.

Please let the Central Office know that Ms Moneyhog was not rude.... It's the policy that may need to be reviewed.

We are very happy to have you at this Elementary. We think you are doing a great job and your office staff is wonderful! We are also pleased with the teachers. We love Ms 2nd Grade already and Ms Wonderful 1st Grade .... What can I say she is absolutely wonderful. Going above and beyond doesn't even begin to describe the job that she does. Ms Stephanie, Ms Joy, Ms TAG all great... they love kids and their jobs and it shows.

Thanks again for all that you do,


I am not feeling nearly as charitable as Speedy about this situation. While I do agree with his assessment of the principal, office staff, and 2 teachers listed, I wonder if that is actually policy for the cafeteria staff. I somehow doubt it. Overall, I feel that the public educational system policies are greatly lacking in many areas. I can tell you as someone who handles the accounts in a business, if I were to approach a child about their parent's overdue account, I & the business would get sued in a heartbeat. I certainly would not want my business practices to be so unethical as that, and this system has my children 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. Do I really want that type of behavior influencing my children?

Take care - Me

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Random information...

Random, not necessarily earth-shattering. :)

So, the house is still not done. In a previous post I jokingly mentioned a Christmas open house. I shouldn't have joked. I'm concerned we'll not have it done in 4 months. We are living here again, though my beloved Mac is still inaccessible to me. The new part is pretty much complete, just lacking our clothing (still in the old bedroom), vanity mirror, closet rods, bathroom storage, some baseboards/quarter round, etc.

Of course, in recent times, my week time work on the house has been hindered with doctor appointments. You see, that pesky, nerve-damaging bone spur has grown back, in less than four weeks. And it's joined by a couple of new ones. So, that's two on the thumb, one on the back of the same hand closer to the wrist. I had the MRI today & yes I have a copy of the disc. I have to say that I'm much better at reading the scans of a pancreas, liver & duodenum than I am a left hand. So, I wait until next Tuesday when I see the orthopedic dude.

The kids are doing well. They are in the TAG program this year & that's their favorite day of the school week. They are currently lucky to be attending the public school system at all after today's experience in the cafeteria. In true friend of Marcus style, I give you my first letter to the principal this year.

Dear Mr. Principal,

I am writing to let you know what has gone on in the cafeteria today concerning our son, Rokimus. Rokimus informed me today that Ms. Rudeness kept his change of $.50 from buying the ice cream bar due to his owing on his lunch money account. I find this to be ridiculous on a couple of counts. First, that she would tell our children that they are overdue on their lunch money without contacting the parents first. Is the school now holding seven-year olds responsible for paying for their lunches? Second, that she would keep $.50 of change due back to my son from buying ice-cream. My son works hard for his ice cream money and should have received that change back. I cannot believe that this person would talk to my children in front of their classmates about financial issues. We have always paid the lunch accounts as soon as we get a notice that they are due. We do not try to shirk our responsibilities towards our children by not paying for their lunches.

This had actually occurred toward the end of last year and I told Speedy to let it slide. That surely they were just worried about end of year expenses. I see that is not the case, and I am very disappointed and upset that this would happen again. How dare she take this matter up with seven year olds? The responsible and sensible thing to do would to contact the people who actually fund the accounts – the parents.

I have thought about home schooling the children, and this is just one more thing that is leading me to think that may be the direction I need to go in.


So, life's been a bit crazy. And through all of this, I still have the urge to pick up the phone and tell Mother about it. I understand that she's probably here, knocking me upside the head with a mallet trying to tell me advice, but I'm just not getting it. And I miss that. I miss telling her "Mother, just drop it. Put it in a bubble & blow it away."

Take care - Me

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Six Months...

And it still hurts.

Take care - Me

Friday, August 8, 2008

Words of advice...

I cannot believe that it's been 3 weeks since my last post. Furthermore, I cannot believe that it's been over 5 weeks since I've lived in my house or slept in my bed. For those of you out there considering a possible remodel/addition, let me give you a wee bit of advice. Don't. Did you catch that? I'll repeat - DO NOT DO THAT! Unless you have unlimited funds, a trip-around-the-world vacation planned for an extended time while the renovations are done and a police/security team to guard while you're away, then get the idea out of your head. Why, oh why did I think our house should have two bathrooms and three bedrooms? We should have just added an outhouse and a lean-to with an airmattress.

Needless to say, at this point, I'm not sure when the house will be complete. We are still living in a camper. We may be able to move into the new part this next week. Hopefully. Very hopefully. That will only leave the kitchen, living room, playroom, office, hallway and two bedrooms to remain fixing. Not too bad. I'm thinking we may be able to have a Christmas open house. Maybe.

Take care - Me

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Not really home...

We are back. We got back Thursday night. We got back to my house covered in drywall dust, all the furniture covered with sheets (my modals), no kitchen counters or stove and the central unit still not complete. The house is uninhabitibal. We are now living in a camper up at the shop. Thank goodness my inlaws have one and will allow us to live in it for what looks like a couple/few weeks. I cannot get to my computer to post the pictures, so those "vacation" pictures will have to wait.

Take care - Me

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wisconsin Trip 2008, ver1

Well, we've made it 11 hours north to Lincoln, IL. We'll travel another 7 hours tomorrow. So far so good. :) Of course, we've not dealt with any family yet. Also, I'm updating now, as most likely tomorrow we will not have any cell phone service, much less high-speed internet access. Here's a sample of a few pics taken today on the way up. Unfortunately, I'm having to use a pc and it's not mac user friendly!

Take care - Me

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

List No. 527...

On and on.

Pack my clothes and kids' clothes, get together items for the Wisconsin memorial, get money market check book to pay for graveside services and stone, deal with house construction issues, laundry, laundry, laundry, get stuff together for employee cookout, write up one employee's last check, go through applications to replace before mentioned employee, get stuff ready for the next two weeks at the store while I'm gone, pack, laundry, get Charlie's meds, get my meds, finish volcano offering plates for vacation bible school, and on and on... Oh yeah - don't forget Mother!! (in the urn)

Take care - Me

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Look Ma, No Stitches...

Yes, I did attempt to pass out. I do that. I'm a fainter. It's sad really, I can watch my son and husband drive extremely fast. I watched my Mother with tubes draining fluids, getting shots, being sick. I can clean my children's wounds that are gushing blood and not get even queasy. But let my dog get shot/run over, my husband's wisdom teeth taken out or apparently my stitches taken out and I'm out. Cold. I did have the foresight to warn the doc that I'm a fainter and then to inform him mid-de-suturing that I was fine, I was moments from passing out but that was OK, just get the rest of them while I was passed out. He didn't feel as strongly about letting me pass out, so he raised my knees, lowered my head, place cool, wet cloth on my head and then finished taking them out. I felt every single one of them. Most did not feel good.

Take care - Me

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thumbs and Books...

My thumb: Still attached, one path report back, waiting on others. Hopefully, I will get the stitches out tomorrow.

I realize that this sounds very ho-hum, but THIS is now out, in my possession and I will be inaccessible for the next 4-5 hours as I read it. In completion. The children will go unfed, unbathed and unless there is blood involved, generally unattended.

Take care - Me

note: 8:21 pm - It took me a bit longer than expected. While there was no blood, there were interruptions that could not be delayed. Now I'm off to re-read the other 13+2 books of the series, then this one again. Life is great!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Life threatening creature...


Or, as I like to call it - life threatening creature.

So, I was on the phone with Jennie the other night when I spotted LTC in my yard. I mentioned it to her, then watched it drift across the bottom of the yard. I even joked to Jennie about the dog, Fred, laying there and not seeing it. We continued our conversation until I happened to notice the LTC had started drifting in my direction. In a not-so-drifting manner. In fact, it did look to be picking up speed. As it came toward me. I think I joked about being chased by the thing. Then. OH SHIT. It's coming right at me! The dog, by the way, is still laying in the driveway and not noticing my distress.

I hurriedly make my way around the jacuzzi and tub enclosure sitting in my carport to notice that the LTC is coming right on in with me! Again, OH SHIT. The cat is now following the LTC who seems to be following me. I am now laughing, cussing, tripping, trying not to drop my phone and pee on myself as I make my way into the house to tell Speedy to come here! Jennie, of course, is getting the entire play by play as all of this is going on, because honestly, this has got to be better than anything on TV.

The dog did manage to come check it out after I ran into the house, but after getting hissed at, promptly took off for under the Honda. The cat took off to eat the dog food. Johnny came out and was able to chase it a couple of feet away. At which point the thought - "Blog Fodder!!" - went through my head. I rushed inside (Yes, Jennie is still on the phone with me) got my camera and captured the horrible beast on "film."

I have proof. I also will probably feel less guilty the next time I hit one on the road.

Please note, the pictures are not the best, but as I still have stitches in my thumb, I was commentating to Jennie and attempting to operate the camera, I think they'll do.

Take care and watch out for raging opossum - Me

Thursday, June 12, 2008

9 Years...

I love you.

I love you for putting up with my craziness - good and bad. I love you for being there for me this past year in ways I never could have hoped for. You hold my hand, wipe my tears and make me smile, usually all within moments of each other and I love you for that. I love that you back me up when times get tough. I love that you are the other half that makes up our children and that they are more incredible for that.

I love that I am looking forward to many more shared years with you.

Happy 9 years.

I love you Speedy.

Friday, June 6, 2008

From Yesterday to Today...

** Warning - the following photos are mainly for my medically-minded friends.



The bone growth/pocket of "strange" white mass was sitting on a nerve bundle/artery. They were successful in removing it, hopefully the damaged nerve will regenerate in the near future. Pathology/labs will be known when I go for my return visit this next week.

Typing with one hand sucks.

Take care - Me

Monday, June 2, 2008

Why wait?

Why is it we wait until too late to realize the important things? You know,those things we think but never say. Why is it that it takes death knocking on the door for us to say the important things? I'm talking about the things we think but don't vocalize.

Here's some examples:

My sister - Mother would tell me how smart Sister is. She would go on and on about how gifted Sister is with kids. Especially the more troubled pre-teens. What a gift she would say. She would also tell me about how great a salesperson she is. And how so very proud she was of Sister. They may not see eye to eye on most things, but there was never any doubt in my mind of her love for Sister. Yet, it took Mother's diagnoises of cancer for them to come back together.

Aunt #1 - Aunt1 passed away a few years ago after fighting cancer. I don't know if Mother ever got to tell her how much Mother admired her. The ability she had to raise such a large family of her own and those she fostered. The smoothness with which she could glide over the dance floor. The ability to really listen. Mother admired all of that.

Aunt#2 - Mother really thought this sister of hers was very smart. Her ability with numbers was amazing to Mother. She admired her business sense and her dedication to her family.

Aunt#3 - This sister was closest to Mother in age and probably the one that Mother admired most. She has a heart bigger than the world and Mother also felt she is such a shrewd, smart business person. Mother always felt Aunt3 was beautiful - inside and out.

Aunt#4 - Mother's youngest sister. There's several years between them, but Mother was proud of her. Proud of her faith, proud of her wonderful creativity. Her ambition and zest for life Mother was also proud of.

Her Mother - Mother always went on about how strong her Mother was. How she could decorate a house so cute on very little money. How brave she was.

I don't know if Mother ever conveyed to these people how much she thought of them, or the things she admired about them. Probably, if she did, she waited until this past year to do it. After all, isn't that what we did to her? Wait to tell her the things we thought we great about her? Did she realize that what I thought was great about her is what she saw in her own family? That she had those same traits, yet couldn't see them in herself?

If you're wondering what she thought about me, she told me. She told me a few years ago at the same time I told her. We were going through a rough family time and I really wasn't certain we would be talking to each other much in the future, if at all. I wanted her to know what I saw in her - the good. The beauty, the business smarts, the giving heart, the strength, the bravery, the creativity and the whole goodness of her. Yes, I knew about the bad - we both did. There's no need in this life to bring up the bad. If it's happened, then it's the past. Period. Where you go from there is choice.

So, what did Mom see in me? Everything good I saw in her, multiplied times ten. Everything that I have trouble seeing in myself.

Stop seeing the bad, look for the good. Even if you have to look hard, look. Then tell them them the good. Today. Now. Don't wait for the chance to be taken away from you. They need to hear it and you need to say it.

Take care - Me

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I've been a bad, bad girl...

Shhhh... please don't tell anyone! I've gone and made this and haven't told anyone in the families that I've started making it again. You see, I normally make enough for 3 households - today, I just made enough for mine. I'm certain they're clearing a special spot in hell for me.

I blame it all on Marcus. It's all his fault for sending me the recipe a couple of years ago. Now, most of central Mississippi wants me to make it for them. Shame on you Marcus.

Take care - Me

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bad day gone good...

Early in the day I had a customer come in. He went on and on about how I am not my mother. I do not have her beautiful smile. I do not have her great personality. I don't even look like her, unlike my sister. He really did go on and on about how much NOT like her I am and about how he hoped that I would be able to keep the store going.

Needless to say, this was a less than stellar start to my day. Add in PMS, deadlines and decisions being made, and my day, I thought, was just shot to shit.

Then, when going to pick up the kids, I have teachers I don't know coming up to me and telling me to check Moosie's bookbag. - Honestly, I never know what I'll find.

My day got much better. Much more "leaky" as I call it, but much better.

Take care - Me

Welcome to my head...

Things that go through my head as I drive to and from work/school/home each day...

Oh shit, what would I do if a bird flew in through the windows?

I really need to leave a bit sooner as to not speed quite so fast... Are there ever any troopers/law enforcers on this road anyway?

We really need to pack Mom's house up.

I wonder if an intruder were to attempt intruding, would I just shoot to maim, or kill?

Wonder what kind of flower that is?

I really need to remember to charge my ipod.

Am I really going 70 in a 43 year old car?!

And the list goes on and on...

Here's some blog fodder from recent times. Enjoy.

Take care - Me

-- For those of you not in the know (as I was the DAY before this was due) the above character you see is Flat Stanley. Moosie was in charge of dressing him and apparently we were supposed to be taking him with us for the previous few days. This did not happen, so we rushed around, got him clothed and took him sight-seeing. More photos can be found on the Gives Thanks blog.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Not so catchy title...

OK, hang on. It's been a while since an update and truthfully, I really don't feel like doing now. I would say that I'm probably still not much on communication these days. Some days are better than others. This is a better one, so I'd best get busy.

Yes, I really do knit. This is a scarf/headband that I started on this past winter. This is the second one of this pattern that I've made. If you need more info on it, let me know.

Yes, we still have horses. I was able to get this shot the other day as the two horses were really cutting up - running, bucking and generally enjoying the great weather.

The kids did great at the local science fair (Moosie got 1st & Rokimus got 2nd) sending us on to the regional fair. Moosie again won first in her age group and we have done our best to tell Rokimus that it's great he made it this far on the first science fair attempt!

Spring has sprung here in the south. All the lovely flowers and trees blooming out in glorious colors. All that lovely, snot-forming pollen just coating the earth like a gently laid blanket warming our souls with sneezes, watery eyes and sinus infections.

Last, but not least, racing season has started. Kind of. If we can keep drive shafts, bell-housings and the like from tearing up. Rokimus starts racing this weekend, weather permitting.

Take care - Me

Saturday, March 22, 2008


At long last, here's the pictures of the gumbo I made a while back. I was going for the taste of Doc's Seafood Shack gumbo. I failed. However, my family had no problems eating it whatsoever.
Take care - Me

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Just a few days ago?

It's hard for me to think that this was a year ago.

I am doing better, I think. At least right now, as in right this moment. One thing I've found, that could change. One year ago, Mother was doing well, just a bit tired. Now, I've got financial advisors knocking on the door. At least I still have her voice inside my head reminding me that if I can't say something nice - shut up. I haven't talked to them much. 

I know that ya'll have prayed for us. Thank you. Please don't think that they didn't work for Mother or that they're not working for us. They did & they are. And we need them. Desperately. There's another family we know that is going through the exact same thing we did almost one year ago, down to the type, location and doctors that have/are working on him. He is only 44. If you've got extra prayer in you - they need it. 

I still haven't forgotten about the gumbo pictures. They will be posted. Probably not this week. Maybe next. I'm leaving on a jet plane/Honda Thursday. Right after I cut payroll and make sure that I fax the MS State Tax Commission the appropriate paperwork. 

For those of you who have called or emailed, thank you. I'm almost ready to talk to folks again. Please don't give up on me. I'll get there. Eventually.

Take care - Me

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pain and Loss...

I am not doing well. I hope you are doing better. 

I did finish the gumbo and hope to be able to post something better than this dribble soon.

Take care - me

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The almost gumbo...

Every now and then I think that I should attempt to cook something. Something out of my norm and normally, out of my experience level. Yesterday, I thought I should attempt gumbo. Thanks to EB's recipes, I had several to choose from.

I chose this one, then headed to the nearest local grocery. Of course, this one called for a cast iron Dutch oven, which I did not have, but bought, in bright green no less. It also calls for file powder, as any self-respecting gumbo should. Of course, with my run of luck lately*, it should not come as a surprise that this grocery did not have any file powder. Luckily, I did marry the right guy, the guy who realized he is currently married to a woman on edge, the guy who responded to my desperate phone call by finding my file powder and therefore insuring that he would not need the bail money set aside for such an occasion.

After spending an extraordinary amount of money for something I'm not even sure will be edible, I headed to the house to start the cooking. I chopped, diced, seeded, roasted, stirred and waited. I had it timed down to the minute when Speedy would walk through the door. I was measuring out the water for the rice and fixin' to cut the homemade bread to spread the roasted garlic/butter on while the cookie dough rested on the counter. Every thing was going great. The house smelled like cajun roasted garlic.

Then, in the split of a pea, nothing. Total silence. Total loss of electricity. Total "you have GOT to be shitting me!" No worries, it will come back on in a minute, right?! No. It won't. In fact, it did not come back on until around 6:30 that evening. After we had eaten KFC. After the roasted garlic had cooled. After I had figured that the universe was totally not happy with me.

So, the gumbo will possibly happen Friday night. Hopefully. Very hopefully, so long as the universe doesn't decide to knock the power off again.

*Examples of my run of luck lately: Mother - died; Son - school called that he's running fever; Daughter - about to lose yet another tooth which will give her NO front teeth; wallet - left in the VW while I drove the Honda; much needed Wisconsin land deed of Mother's - none of the aunts has a copy, had to contact the office in Wisconsin and they won't send it without being paid their $2.00 fee and they don't accept credit cards (see wallet note)... and the list just keeps on going...

Take care - Me

Monday, February 18, 2008


I'm Free
Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free
I'm following the path God laid for me,
I took His hand when I heard Him call
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
I found that place at the close of the day.
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss.
Ah yes, these things, I too, will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full. I savored much.
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me.
God wanted me now. He set me free.
~Author unknown

I'm taking some time to gather my thoughts on all that has happened in the past month or so. Please be patient with me as my family and I try to live our lives without this amazing person being here. Thank you again for all the thoughts and prayers being sent our way. They really do help and they are greatly appreciated.

Take care - Me

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

At Peace.

It is with tremendous sadness that I must report the death of KnitMom. She died just after 6:00PM this evening. She has endured the wrath of metastatic pancreatic cancer for almost a year. She had a tremendous will, and persevered until the Spring. She said from the beginning that Spring would be a nice time to die. I never thought for a moment that she would survive long enough to see it, and while the calendar may not reflect the season quite yet, the weather this week certainly does. The last few weeks, and especially the most recent few days, have been exceptionally difficult for her and her daughters to endure as her body slowly shut down. Mercifully, her physical agony is over. Now, a different suffering begins as our Knitter and her Sister learn to live with the gaping hole in their hearts left by the absence of their beloved mother. KnitMom was an amazing woman, and produced two unbelievably strong daughters. She ran a tire & auto repair business for the last several years, which is a bit unusual in the Deep South. And while not a Southerner by birth, she became a well-adapted Yankee. She was exceptionally kind, and I don't have a single memory of her that doesn't include her smile. There will be a memorial service in the next few days, followed by her cremation. Knitter & her family will take the ashes to be buried at KnitMom's chosen location in her beloved native state when Spring arrives in the upper mid-west. 
Knitter, her mom, and her sister - June, 2007
Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord,
And let perpetual Light shine upon her.
May her soul,
And the souls of all the faithful departed,
Through the mercy of God,
Rest in peace.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A moment of levity...

Knitter requested that I post this picture for her entertainment. 

There is very little joy to be found today in KnitMom's hospital room. Still, our friend Knitter felt that the sight of Marcus in a pair of pants is such a rarity that it MUST be shared. 

So, here is your smile for the day:

What? You've never seen long pants before?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Praying for a peaceful transition...

Note: KnitForKnot has asked me to step in and help keep everyone in the loop these days. I will refer to her "Mother" as "KnitMom."

Fortunately, when KnitMom chose her oncologist, she chose wisely. When she decided that she would feel more comfortable abandoning hospice care at home to return to the hospital, it only required a phone call. Dr. Wonderful took care of everything except driving KnitMom to the hospital. And, he let our Knitter and her Sister know that any needs they, or KnitMom have will be met. (He did remind them that despite their previous suggestions, he is not able to have the hospital room repainted on such short notice.)

So, KnitMom is likely in her final room in this life. (As always, KnitMom and her girls have even found the bright spot there: the room number is the same as the time of day that Moosie was born and the same as a recent high test score Moosie made!)

By all reports, she is comfortable now. Knitter estimates that KnitMom is sleeping 95% of the time. KnitMom has almost stopped talking.

The time is almost upon us for KnitMom to end this portion of her journey and embark upon her next adventure. Let's all pray that her transition is peaceful.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Blah, blah, blah... No.324

I don't really feel like blogging. I don't really feel like talking at all. I would love to be in a corner chewing my hair and mumbling obscene comments, but life won't let me at this point.

Mother is home. We brought her home with hospice last Thursday. She's glad to be home and that's the only thing that counts in my opinion. Her happiness and comfort. My sister is staying there with her 24/7. My grandmother and one of my aunts is here also. God help us. And help us now, please. Enough said about that.

At last count, which was about 2 weeks ago, Mother's CA19-9 was 912,948. Yes, that's almost one MILLION. The doc says that if he were to check it again, it would be well over one million. MILLION. Yes, she's set a record. Yes, she's very pleased with this. :) I mean really, she might as well get something out of this horrible disease!

Honestly though, I don't really expect her to be with us much longer. She's sleeping more and more & she's really tired. Tired of fighting, of pain and of having this intruder in her body. She's at peace with the afterlife and is ready to face it head on. We are, as always, on God's time now.

On other news, the kids did great in the science fair! Moosie won 1st in division one (1st-3rd) grade in the category of microbiology with the title of Booger Challenge. Rokimus won 2nd in that division, category of engineering with the title Need for Speed. We will be going to MSU in late March for regional.

Here's where my perspective gets a bit whacked. I know that we, most likely, will have had Mother's service and will be burying her ashes after this science fair trip. We will not try to make the trip to Wisconsin to bury them before the science fair, as that would likely cause Mother to come back and haunt me. She is determined that those kids go to MSU and that I accompany them. My sister also will hopefully attend with us. We'll have the local service before the science fair, then bury the ashes sometime after that. 

Everything that is now mentioned as a tentative plan is automatically entered into my brain as being before or after Mother dies. This is not a happy state of mind to be in.

Take care - Me

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Probably the last hospital stay...

We've been in the hospital for the past several days. There was a reoccurrence of the pneumonia along with other infected bacteria in Mother.

The list of things wrong is long at this point and I really don't have the energy to go into all of that right now. Mentally and spiritually, Mother is amazing. Physically, she's tired. Tired of pain, of not being the person she used to be. The latest treatment option had no affect whatsoever. I've had a discussion with the kids that Ganny does not have much time left here. We don't know when, but it will probably be sooner than later. 

The doctor has actually used the term "terminal" stage. Mother knows this and is ready for the life hearafter. We may get to take her home with hospice today or in the next few days. We really are on a day by day basis. I do know that she has six more potholders to crochet and I need to buy the yarn for one of them. At 1 potholder per day, we've got at least 6 days. She is determined to get those things done! :)

I know that you've been keeping us in your prayers and thoughts. Thank you, and please continue to do so. We desperately need them. 

Take care - Me

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Better than a Xanax...

What's that? Life got you down? Don't know how to handle all the junk life is throwing your way? Busy rushing around trying to figure out the latest loopholes in this year's taxes? Are your kids driving you up the wall and taking down the ladder? Have so much laundry that there's now just a path to walk through the house and all your family is having to run around in the old, dingy undies?

I have the solution. No, it won't do your taxes or clean your clothes. It will close your children's mouths and make you change your undies in a mere bite though.

Go here. Now. Right now. Make these. Then send me and the originator a thank you. 

And don't be a fool like I am - make the full recipe, do not cut it in half thinking you won't possibly need all that. You will. You definitely will.

Your welcome.

Take care - Me

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Home again...

My sister took Mother home yesterday evening. While in the hospital, she was given 4 units of blood, numerous units of antibiotics and various other meds. Before leaving the hospital, they had called in another oral antibiotic to fight another bacterial culture that had grown out. That's two oral antibiotics that she's on at home - one for the bronchial pneumonia and one for the bacterial bloodstream infection.

She'll also start Tarceva today. This one will hopefully stop the growth of the cancer, allowing for a bit more quality time. Should she not respond well to this, she will not take it. I so respect her for both trying a new treatment and for standing up and saying that quality is more important that quantity. If this drug causes her to feel worse than she does now, then it's a no go. We'd rather have her for a shorter amount of time feeling relatively well, than to have her suffer for an extended period. This cancer has already caused multiple issues in organs other than the pancreas. We don't need another drug to make her feel worse.

I talked to her just a few minutes ago and she's doing pretty good. She informed me that she thought all hospital beds should have the modal sheets and feather pillows. :) She's also looking forward to the Hardee's biscuit and sausage gravy that my sister is bringing her shortly.

Thanks again for the well wishes. I'll keep you posted when I can. 

Take care - Me

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hospital Stay No. I really can't remember...

We've been in the hospital since 2 am last Friday. 

Bloodstream infection, possible lung issues, ie: possible pneumonia, low blood counts and low platelets. Along with other various lows and highs in the blood tests that go with having this cancer at this stage.

It's not staph, and the current antibiotic seems to be working. They've said a possible release date could be Wednesday, but we're taking it day by day. Today was a pretty good day considering, and that is something to be thankful for.  

I want to thank all of you that are sending healing thoughts our way - they're working and we really need them.

Take care - Me

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Hostess with the mostess...

Forewarning: this blog is extremely wordy!

So, this past weekend was a time for remembering, crying, and being there for each other. A time for catching up and asking why it takes a funeral for us all to get together. A time for ceremony, thinking of your spiritual beliefs and supporting one another, sometime physically but most important emotionally. A time when you find yourself in another town, really too far to drive back home. A time when you say to one of your best friends, yes, I’ll stay with total strangers that are friends with your mother.

It was also a time for me to stay in a home of huge proportions. Arriving at this home, in the dark, we pulled up to a four-car garage. We had been told to enter through the door in the middle of the garage, through the garage, then into the home through that door. The outside garage entry door included ornate ironwork. The actual garage was larger than my previous house.

To enter a house and be walking on beautiful deep cherry floors, looking up at twelve-foot ceilings made me trust my friend more and more with each step I took into this immaculate home. The tile work in the kitchen and resting area was unique and comforting with their earthy tones of green, blue and terra cotta. And the twelve-foot ceilings. The kitchen was outfitted with Viking appliances, including the microwave. In the center of the kitchen was the enormous island topped with teak. The maple cabinets with their warm, burnt sienna glaze begged to be looked through for ingredients in preparation of your next gourmet masterpiece. If that masterpiece happened to include a pasta dish, no worries, just use the pasta faucet at the eight-burner Viking gas range. Or maybe you needed to grill your salmon while keeping your dill sauce warm, again, no worries, as the warming drawer was conveniently located under the range. What’s that? You need to prep some veggies while someone else fills the glasses? Just stand at the island to prep at that sink while the other person is over at the granite counter/bar filling the glasses with ice from the below counter ice maker then filling them with drinks from the Subzero fridge. Or maybe, they’ve reached into the 15’x15’ pantry to grab something from there.

Of course, they could just walk across the resting room to the granite topped side bar, reach into the fridge for an ice-cold beer, scoop some ice from that in-cabinet ice maker, open the maple/glass enclosed doors for a really refreshing beverage. But let’s not go there, as we don’t want to numb this experience. We want to continue to enjoy every single moment.

You could serve your meal at the kitchen table, with its hand-painted top overlooking the back veranda arranged with several seating areas, or you could walk across the hall to the beautiful jewel-toned dining room with its table for twelve to dine under the crystal and iron chandelier.

I honestly cannot remember how many bedrooms there were on the first or second floor. I can remember that each one was well appointed, warm and welcoming. Especially as each one had its own private bath. I do remember the master bath. With his and hers sides. That’s right, sides, not sinks. Joining the two sides was a shower room with multiple showerheads and beautiful tile work. You could reach for your towels from one of the beautiful deep stained wood built-ins.

You could then take one of two staircases up to the second floor, or if loaded down, use the elevator. (let’s let that one sink in… elevator) Up those gently winding, cherry-topped steps you would arrive at a long hall and at least ten-foot ceilings. On one end of the hall you could open the double doors and be encased in the media room, complete with drop down viewing screen, six or so leather recliners with cup holders. You could also prepare a small feast there from that full-size fridge, granite counter top, microwave and in-cabinet icemaker. Or you could shoot pool at the pool table, play poker at the poker table, or overlook the woods from the end room window. You would be able to see what you were doing by turning on the Tiffany-style lamps above each of these areas.

Down the hall were additional bedrooms, workout room, second floor laundry area, and other various doorways that, quite honestly, I just didn’t open to explore. Each room I saw had it’s own unique feel and was as welcoming as one could ask for.

The only thing I have ever seen that was larger than this home was the heart of the people that own it. Debbie and Carlos not only opened their doors to two strangers, they opened their hearts and welcomed us in. While, yes, this house was unbelievably huge, it is a home, make no mistake. They have made it a home where you are enveloped by their generosity and caring from the moment you walk through the door and you feel it long after you’ve walked out.

I have stayed in smaller houses and not felt as welcomed as I was in their home. For that, I will forever remember them.

Take care - Me